City of Bhangra drives the beat downtown on Saturday

Jay StatusBALKAN Bhangra opens Saturday’s program at noon, followed by a number of energetic bhangra teams, and an interactive bhangra session.

What’s the connection between India and the Balkans? The short answer is … the Roma. While most Roma (gypsies) have been settled in Europe for hundreds of years, no one doubts that their roots are in India. Orkestar Slivovica represents the Balkan Roma tradition of Southern Serbia and Macedonia, while Vijay Indian Brass Band demonstrates India’s version. Adding visual elements are Luciterra Bellydance and the Vancity Bhangra Dancers.

The day is packed with bhangra teams of all age groups from Metro Vancouver.

Vocalist Hans Mann was born in India, but lived in Canada, and has a background in both Western and Indian classical music. He’s worked as a producer and most recently recorded as a singer himself with a sophomore release on the horizon. He’ll play mid-afternoon, followed by more bhangra teams, including a delightful trio of pint-sized dance groups. DJ A-Slam takes the stage just before 5 p.m., followed by Raju Johal and band, more bhangra teams, including Anakh E Gabroo from the NY Tri-cities area.

DJ SanjLocal artist DJ A-Slam will be featured on the Downtown Bhangra stage launching his newest song live. “Gaddi” is written in honour of this year’s #BhangraLove theme. The track features DJ Reminisce on vocals, and music by DJ EQZT.

Lapis is a distinctive collaboration between Rup Sidhu – a DJ who uses arts as a way to support social justice – and sitar player Mohamed Assani. They’re followed by an Inder Kooner concert set, and more of the guest bhangra teams.

The Saturday night finale features UK Punjabi music rising star, Jay Status, with a live band, followed by his colleague and producer DJ Sanj, whose career started while living in Toronto. He produced several hit Desi mix tapes in the late 90′s, and in the past decade he’s escalated from local DJ to international superstar. In early 2000, DJ Sanj moved to the UK to produce fulltime for Envy Entertainment, an established UK label producing Desi and Asian flavours. After 200-plus songs and over 18 albums to his credit, DJ Sanj shifted his sights to Bollywood. Since his move to Mumbai in 2007, DJ Sanj has racked up a heap of collaborations and hits in the Bollywood film industry. He worked on “Love Aaj Kal,” one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of the last decade, and is currently the most sought-after Desi producer and DJ in the world.

Downtown Bhangra
Saturday, June 7, noon to 10 p.m.
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

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